Active commuting to work (ACW) has beneficial effects on health, traffic, and climate. However, more robust evidence is needed on how to promote ACW. This paper reports the findings of a multilevel natural experiment with a randomized controlled trial in 16 Finnish workplaces. In Phase 1, 11 workplaces (1823 employees) from Area 1 were exposed to environmental improvements in walking and cycling paths. In Phase 2, five more workplaces (826 employees) were recruited from Area 2 and all workplaces were randomized into experimental group (EXP) promoting ACW with social and behavioral strategies and comparison group (COM) participating only in data collection. Process and impact evaluation with questionnaires, travel diaries, accelerometers, traffic calculations, and auditing were conducted. Statistics included Wilcoxon Signed Ranks Test, Mann-Whitney U-test, and after-before differences with 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). After Phase 1, positive change was seen in the self-reported number of days, which the employees intended to cycle part of their journey to work in the following week (p = 0.001). After Phase 2, intervention effect was observed in the proportion of employees, who reported willingness to increase walking (8.7%; 95% CI 1.8 to 15.6) and cycling (5.5%; 2.2 to 8.8) and opportunity to cycle part of their journey to work (5.9%; 2.1 to 9.7). To conclude, the intervention facilitated employees' motivation for ACW, which is the first step towards behavior change.
|Number of pages||18|
|Journal||International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health|
|Publication status||Published - 13 May 2019|
- SPS Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences
- active travel
- natural experiment